Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth TD says the Agriculture Minister must intervene in the ongoing beef crisis as a matter of urgency.

She made the comments following this evening’s announcement from Lakeland Dairies that redundancies will be necessary at its site in Monaghan.

Deputy Smyth says Minister Creed must intervene in the ongoing crisis immediately and has called on him to reconvene talks between farming organisations, the meat industry and retailers.

“This situation, which has been escalating over recent weeks, has stepped up a gear this evening with the announcement by Lakeland Dairies that it is to rationalise its processing facility in Monaghan. Minister Creed has taken a hands-off approach, farmers are under unsustainable pressure and now jobs are to go at Lakeland’s processing plant,”, said Deputy Smyth.

“The Minister needs to step up to the mark now and intervene to find a solution to the ongoing crisis. The current impasse is risking jobs and livelihoods and cannot be allowed to continue.

“I am also calling on Minister Creed to make an immediate application to the European Commission for CAP market disturbance funding, to alleviate the severe drop in beef prices which farmers have been struggling with since May.

“The government needs to take swift action to safeguard the beef sector given the threats posed to it, not only from the current price instability, but also the ever-increasing possibility of a no deal Brexit”.